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How do we cope? Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke dead at 20 after home invasion

Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke, real name Bashar Barakah Jackson, was pronounced dead this morning at a Hollywood Hills home.

Pop Smoke, whose 2019 album “Meet the Woo” shocked the airwaves and shot him into international popularity, had not even grazed the apex of his ability.

It’s like we keep losing those on the come up or heroes that we idolize. Last year it was Nipsey, X, John Singleton, John Witherspoon, Juice Wrld, and more. And at the top of 2020, we lost a legend, Kobe Bryant.

Why does this keep happening and how do we continue to cope with the deaths of famous people we look up to? Use their legacy to push through.

Pop Smoke brought a new level of energy to not only the rap game but the music industry as a whole. His music hit new decibels and, in a way, he took his pain and turned the negative energy sourced from his environment and turned it into a positive vibe.

His lifestyle was one for the books and what we saw in Pop Smoke’s videos is how happy we wanted to be when chilling with our respective squads.

We saw him climb the ladder to success. An LA Leakers Freestyle here an Angie Martinez interview there… His energy was everywhere.

It’s important that we continue to recycle his energy and keep his spirit alive. We should all be “WOOING” to the best of our abilities. Watch his interviews, listen to his music, and research what he might’ve been working on.


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Still, it will be hard to deal with this one, fam.

As heartbreaking as the news of another talented artist being killed is, even more heart wrenching is the realization that Pop Smoke was only 20-years-old. He was just at the beginning of what was to be a groundbreaking and illustrious career.

Los Angeles Police told Radio 1 Newsbeat that a man was shot at his home Wednesday morning and later pronounced dead. Officers responded to a report of a robbery and got to the scene six minutes after they received the call, at 4:55 am.

It has been reported that the call to authorities came from the East Coast and that whoever made the call to the line on the East Coast, presumably Pop Smoke, had instructed them to contact the authorities.

Pop Smoke came onto the scene with his single “Welcome to the Party,” last Spring, and when we pulled up to his album release party, we knew there was something special to this young artist.

His passing comes as a shock to the rap and music industry, and his peers expressed their sadness and condolences.


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Damn pop….. 🙏🏾

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Damn we was just together loc 🤦🏽‍♂️ R.I.P @realpopsmoke 👼🙏🏽 life too short ! #LLWOO

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Prayers To The Fam !! We As Men Have To Do A Perfect Job Protecting Ourselves Life Is Too Short , LIVE LIFE

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The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable. Rest In Peace, Pop.

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Without more information on Pop Smoke’s passing, we can’t help but wonder if this was a spontaneous robbery attempt by people who heard about his whereabouts in town, or whether Pop Smoke knew the men who killed him.

So far, the police have not taken any suspects into custody, but up to six people are sought in connection with the slaying, with at least one of the intruders wearing a black mask.

Pop Smoke was just starting to really hit it big, moving up the charts and just this week getting his first US top 10 albums.

It is beyond saddening to know he is gone, so quickly, and that every moment is fleeting and not promised. Rest In Peace, Pop, your impact on the game will not be forgotten.

Who Is Hefna380? The NJ rockstar on his way to the top of the charts

Hefna380 is considered an artist who can waver between hip-hop and indie R&B technicalities. At just 19-years-old, he has modeled, been a social media influencer, and distinguished himself in the music industry.

Truth be told, Hefna380’s sound embodies the aggressive yet whimsical rhyme structure like an emcee and a soft, dreamy note range like a true crooner.

Likewise, the NJ native draws from spacey beats in means of saying he’s a future, top-charted artist. “My theme is singing on a rap beat,” Hefna380 said.

“I want to make myself more unique than others in music. My style is not just rap but like an indie melodic trap.”

When tuning in, you can pretty much be anywhere. Just be wary, some songs can leave one confrontational. Hefna380 adds, “I feel as though I am able to connect to most beats if I change my flow and style.”

The name Hefna380 is a crossover between creative energy that surrounds his four walls and natural flattery.

“My childhood nickname was Hefna because I was considered a pretty boy and made all the girls smile. 380, on the other hand, came from being creative in my room,” he said.

“It’s a weapon and it’s powerful. I want to be considered a powerful artist.”

Hefna began making music in late June or July of this year. His interest for music peaked once he started recording at friend’s houses and numerous studios. During this time, Hefna had a huge influence within the social media world and to top it off he was on camera, strutting his stuff.


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Fast forward and Hefna decided to post snippets of his early recorded music on a computer file. Eventually, Hefna garnered traction on Snapchat and it motivated him to keep going and his first song, “I Gotta Go!” dropped in Sept of last year.

Referencing to “I Gotta Go!” Hefna says the creative process was amazing. His main focus was coming out with a bang. It took many retakes and studios visits to get the song right. The first week “I Gotta Go” released, it ranked in at 5,000 streams.

A month later, those streams sky-rocketed to 60,000.

Music seems to have an influence on him because it can uplift one’s spirit. For him, it’s a necessity. Furthermore, Hefna is moved by Michael Jackson. The King of Pop was someone he’d listen to often growing up.

When it comes to the rapper’s favorite line off of his recent songs, Hefna raps “We pour champagne now, all the demons taking up my brain now, I think I’m alright I’ll be okay now, I told my little shawty see you later.”

Surprisingly, his favorite place to perform at had an energy that correlates with his E.P’s name —We Can Finally Rage. It was a memorable show hosted by Newport and Friends in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Hefna adds that all of his friends appeared and they raged. Speaking of which, Hefna380’s first-ever mixtape We Finally Can Rage goes in-depth about success and the troubles that come with it.

Case in point, Hefna380 knows a thing or two so he can take care of these issues real quick. Even so, he’s always covered because he has his ride-or-dies. Production-wise, Hefna380 lets a bellowing bass and spacey beats join forces.

In well-structured rhymes, the “Real Rockstar” shows that he has a heart that can be snatched off sleeves quick! The first track, “Livin’ A Dream” Hefna380 uses auto-croon to speak on the “fugazies” he encounters and having a positive outlook.

Aside from this, the rapper also says in a line “Lately I’ve been feeling like a NASCAR” which oddly correlates with the beat.

It’s safe to say that “Livin’ A Dream” is inspired by auto racing because of the ‘zoom’ sound effect. Likewise, “Livin A Dream” couples electro synths with a striking baseline.

Technicality wise, Hefna380 carries a lethargic cadence that crossovers between triple and singsong flows. Hefna380’s optimistic mentality speaks volumes when he starts the song off with this excerpt, “Run inside the Stu, forgot my wallet/ Losin ain’t a reason to get violent.”

Once “Livin In A Dream” hits the 50-second mark, he begins questioning who’s a friend or foe. Regardless, Hefna380 knows his mother will have his back. Even if Hefna380 has to put someone in a body bag, she will pass him his katana.


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Case in point, Hefna380 just doesn’t want to be bothered. He’d rather occupy himself with recording or writing music.

Save Me” blends spacey synths with a thumping 808. This track, in particular, is an ode to the schemers. While he may commend the effort, it’s just a facade.

If there’s one thing he’s learned it’s to never lose your cool. And so, Hefna380 allows them to continue while he plans vengeance. Hefna mentions in part of the song, “wonder why these bitches wanna fuck with me/I hope they know they can’t take anything from me.”

Realistically speaking, this isn’t Hefna’s first time going through this. Hefna380 also repeats what he said in “Livin In A Dream” except this time a drum is his weapon of choice and not a katana.

If all fails, Hefna380 will make sure that his brothers serve as the backup. At the end of “Save Me” Hefna380 finds an angel from above and gently breaks it off with those who plan on dating him. Hefna380 is smart to not fall for their mind-games because he knows deep down that they’ll only be in it for the money.

Then there’s “Next Up (Outro)” which is solely a flex track. Over a somber-ish backdrop, speaker-knocking base, rapid hi-hats, and an intergalactic synth-wave, Hefna380 goes to say that “it don’t matter unless my buckets are full of gold.”

Amid jealousy, spiteful spirits, and shutdowns, Hefna380 comes out stronger. Granted that these factors didn’t kill his dream, Hefna380 has basked in success and envisions a thriving career.

As an independent artist, he’ll gain more recognition and opportunities to top the charts! One notable line from “Next Up (Outro) says “We don’t need no label, might as well do it independent.”

Another line, however, shows Hefna’s niche with symbolism, “Curtains, they come with all the drapes/ Curtains and shadows on my babe.” On the whole, this song proves that anyone can pursue their dreams if they continue to work hard for it.

If you haven’t already, stream We Can Finally Rage. Make sure to keep an ear above water so you can hear more of Hefna380’s solid releases.


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